Stakeholders at the just concluded Chinet Aviation and Cargo Conference have commended the Ogun State government for building a state-of-the art airport to address the agrocargo challenge confronting the export of goods and agro products in the country.
The Ogun Agro Cargo Airport also won the award for Concept and Design of a state airport in Nigeria at the second edition held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja. The state airport described as the fastest built cargo airport in Nigeria, was started in April 2021 and is billed to commence operations before the end of December 2022.
Last year, the Commissioner of Finance and the Chief Economic Adviser Ogun State Governor, Dapo Okubadejo, who attended the 2021 edition engaged stakeholders and aviation experts on the inherent economics benefits of the airport to the South West region and the country in general.
Okubadejo had promoted the airport as a great option for Nigerian and foreign investors. In a robust engagement with stakeholders he had promised to produce a Smart Airport within a year. A promise that was delivered and the Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Ogun State, Engr. Ade Akinsanya, led the state delegation to Chinet 2022 to showcase a completed airport.
The Agro – Cargo Airport he said is strategically located within an aerotropolis, the airport city at Ilishan, Remo along the Lagos–Ibadan expressway and Sagamu, Benin expressway.
The airport city also has close proximity to key industrial and agro-economic clusters within the state including Sagamu and Ijebu-Ode and other south western states. Akinsanya stated that Agro – Cargo Airport activities will be supported by a distribution and logistics hub located within the Airport City.
According to him, the airport has proximity to key agro-economic clusters with cash crop plantations and forest reserves, such as the Apoje Oil Palm Farms, Ilushin Estate, Remo Rubber Plantation and Lomiro Oil Palm Plantation. The newly established African Development Bank AfDB testing centre is nearby and will process goods slated for export.
He added that the agro cargo airport is 15 minutes from the Sagamu industrial and manufacturing hub, with firms such as OLAM, Nestle, Flour Mills, Apple & Peers, International Breweries, Chi Farms, Coleman Cable etc.
He stated that the airport is 30 minutes from the Federal Government rail station in Abeokuta and 30 minutes from Lagos-Ibadan express way. He said the airport also has proximity to several commercial vegetable greenhouses and meat processing plants, which include Zambeef and others. The Aviacargo industry in Nigeria is almost non-existent or at the lowest stage of development. This is according to stakeholders as Nigeria still brings in more tonnes in a week than it exports in a month. Almost all domestic cargo is road bound.
In addition, stakeholders noted that Nigerian laws on cargo exportation and importation are not in tandem with the development around the world. This is giving investors a massive challenge and is killing cargo exportation in the country. It is believed that with the commencement of the Ogun cargo Airport, most challenges faced in the aviacargo industry will abate.